Battle of Waterloo  

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"You know better than I do that Belgium is an English creation. Belgium is the living proof of Napoleon's defeat. Belgium had to prevent that the French would annex the Port of Antwerp."--Éric Zemmour , De Morgen, October 26, 2018

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The Battle of Waterloo, fought on 18 June 1815, was Napoleon Bonaparte's last battle. His defeat put a final end to his rule as Emperor of the French.

Historical importance

Waterloo proved a decisive battle in more than one sense. Every generation in Europe up to the outbreak of the First World War looked back at Waterloo as the turning point that dictated the course of subsequent world history, seeing it in retrospect as the event that ushered in the Concert of Europe, an era characterised by relative peace, material prosperity and technological progress.

The battle definitively ended the series of wars that had convulsed Europe, and involved many other regions of the world, since the French Revolution of the early 1790s. It also ended the First French Empire and the political and military career of Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the greatest commanders and statesmen in history.

There followed almost four decades of international peace in Europe. No further major conflict occurred until the Crimean War of 1853-1856. Changes to the configuration of European states, as refashioned after Waterloo, included the formation of the Holy Alliance of reactionary governments intent on repressing revolutionary and democratic ideas, and the reshaping of the former Holy Roman Empire into a German Confederation increasingly marked by the political dominance of Prussia. The bicentenary of Waterloo prompted renewed attention in the geopolitical and economic legacy of the battle and in the century of relative transatlantic peace which followed.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Battle of Waterloo" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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